2013 Breeders’ Cup Distaff: Small Field Likely

The 2013 Breeders' Cup Distaff is fast approaching, with pre-entries due on Monday, October 21st. We will get our first look at complete past performances on Wednesday, October 23rd.
It appears that the 2013 Distaff is going to be another small field. In the past 29 Distaffs, the field size of eight has been the most common. At this time, eight appears to be the largest that the field will be in 2013. Putting together all of the reported possible horses from the most reliable sources produces only eight fillies and mares.
For your historical edification, I have put together a chart that gives you field size, the winner, and all of the wagering payouts from the first 29 runnings of the Distaff. 
Leading up to the Distaff there were five “Win and You’re In” Breeders’ Cup Challenge races and three of those winners are on the list as probable runners at Santa Anita on November 1st. Lady of Fifty, the winner of the August 3rd Clement Hirsch at Del Mar, will not run in the Distaff.  Emollient, who once again romped on a synthetic surface in Keeneland’s Juddmonte Spinster Stakes, will stay away from the dirt track at Santa Anita.
The list of eight possibilities includes two horses that are also considering the seven-furlong Filly and Mare Sprint. As you can see from the chart, the smallest field in Distaff history occurred in 1987 when only six horses went into the gate. On four other occasions there was a field of seven.
If all of the potential fillies and mares went into the gate, here is the field that would include two from Bill Mott and two from Todd Pletcher.
Authenticity (Todd Pletcher) – This lightly raced mare would be the old lady in the field at six years of age. She finished second to Beholder in the Zenyatta in her first effort at Santa Anita.
Beholder (Richard Mandella) – This three-year-old filly has three grade one wins in 2013 and a four for four lifetime record on the Santa Anita dirt. Beholder is a “Win and You’re In” qualifier.
Close Hatches (Bill Mott) – She notched her second grade one win in the Cotillion at Parx.
Dance Card (Kiarin McLaughlin) – Dance Card most recently finished second in the Gallant Bloom at Belmont. She is also being considered for the Filly and Mare Sprint.
Princess of Sylmar (Todd Pletcher) – Her victory over Royal Delta in the Beldame gave this three-year-old her fourth grade one win of 2013. Princess is a “Win and You’re In” qualifier.
Royal Delta (Bill Mott) – The five-year-old mare will be trying for an unprecedented third consecutive Distaff victory. Royal Delta is a “Win and You’re In” qualifier.
Street Girl (Manuel Azpurua) – She most recently finished third in the Cotillion and is likely to also be entered in the F/M Sprint.
Wittgenstein (Doug O’Neill) – This three-year-old’s most noteworthy race is a second place finish behind Beholder in the Torrey Pines at Del Mar.
Next week we will look more closely at the pre-entries and talk about the Eclipse Award implications of the Distaff, from Horse of the Year to divisional championships. 


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Older Comments about 2013 Breeders’ Cup Distaff: Small Field Likely...

Me neither, Mary. I truly believe you will get it. I think your gal is gonna roar louder than she ever has in a few weeks. :)
I don't see why it would be a problem if it were to go my way,with a happy ending, Jay.
I don't think you have Mary. I think were gonna see it in November.
I'm buying into that story. In fact, I may have started it. I wonder if in three years of watching Royal Delta if I have seen her best.
Ekindy,i guess that is the reason they have parimutual windows.A difference of opinion.
tmallios: Princess hardly broke a sweat in the Beldame and Javier used the stick maybe once and she won handily. I wouldn't look too hard at the speed figures, because quite frankly the filly and the jockey are looking at where RD is, not the clock. Why would they spend any more energy than they need to? And BTW Princess' final time, if you ignore the speed figures, was faster than RD ever ran a 9 furlong race, and she's run quite a few of those, so I'm not buying into the story that RD didn't give it her best.
I don't think Beholder has faced the likes of POS, RD, or CH. Home field advantage is nothing to ignore.
Authenticity looks good in here. RD, POS, and Beholder are the legitimate top three but looking for some value play.
Close Hatches is a very nice filly, and I respect her talent and abilities. However, as of right now, it is my opinion that her best distance is 1 mile to 1 1/16 mile. At the Distaff distance, I would pick Princess or Royal Delta every time.
Meant the Princess passing up the Distaff.
Florida,i agree with you about the field.As i have stated,i think this race is easily Royal Deltas to lose. The filly that is now catching my attention is the 3 yo.Close Hatches,she is coming into the race perfect.She was magnificent off of a 3 month layoff to win the Cotillion,Smith had plaenty left in the tank at the end.After seeing the recent speed figure of the Beldame,it came up slower than i had hoped.Leading me to my original point of her passing this race up.She was hard used in that race.As much as i think Beholder is of top quality,i think she is a notch below the Top rated fillies.
I'm not crazy about half of the possible entrants, but the other half are super strong. It's going to be a great race, even if it is a small field.
They are all afraid of POS.
Quality over Quantity any day of the week! Plus, will be the last time you will get a decent price on whoever wins.
And a small field doesn't mean low mutuel payouts, either, as in 2009.
Might not be bigger than eight, but the top four are very strong!

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